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A Complete Guide To The Czech food culture
Few countries can boast of rich food culture like the Czechs. The Czech food culture consists of cuisines and culinary history we can trace it back to the 6th century. In fact, many Czech dishes are not original but have German, Austrian, and Hungarian influences. You will find that having a meal with friends and family isn’t just about eating but a culinary ritual. A typical Czech cuisine is heavy, fatty, and mainly meats and starches. Granted the country has always relied on cattle farming, agriculture, etc. But Czech cuisine is far from boring. Every traditional dish is filling and absolutely delicious.
Historical development of the Czech cuisine
Think of Czech food culture as a mixture of Celtic and Slavic cultures and traditions. The Czech were mainly farmers and hunters, so it made sense that starches and meats will make up most of their dishes. The bread was also a staple and eaten with cheese and buttermilk. The bread was mainly made out of millet, millet, and rye. Old Czech meals also consisted of buckwheat, pear, grains, legumes, and plums.
Also, historians note differences in table manners between Czechs in the earlier centuries and now. For instance, the wealthy ate more meals in a day than the typical three-meal plan a modern family will stick to. They had breakfast, mid-morning meals, lunch, snacks, and dinner, all of which had many courses in one meal. On the other hand, the lower class and rural people mostly had one meal in the evenings after a long day of working in the fields. However, these meals were ample sized.
Czech food culture in the world
It is not a rumour that the Czech Republic is the beer district of the world. The Czechs produce arguably the best beer in the world. Unlike other countries that prefer water or a soft drink to have their meal, Czechs prefer beer with their food. Beer is available everywhere, from restaurants to coffee shops. You can legally purchase a bottle as long as you are of the legal drinking age.
Interestingly, traditional Czech cooking isn’t elaborate but pretty much makes do with the food ingredients you have in hand. However, the fundamentals of an outstanding Czech cuisine include high-quality food ingredients and strictly following a recipe. Also, Czech cooks love making things from scratch. You will often see them drying fruits and making homemade marmalade and jam.
Czech famous traditional dishes
Svíčková is an integral part of the Czech food culture. It is a famous Czech Sunday family dish favourite amongst many tourists and foreigners. It is a simple dish consisting of sirloin beef braised in cream sauce and typically served with bread dumplings. You can also garnish this meal with lemon, cranberries, and whipped cream, but this is optional.
Furthermore, follow the recipe for preparing Svíčková to the last detail else your result will be anything but Svíčková.
Here are two key ingredients and steps to remember
- Thicken your sauce with Roux. Using any other thickening agent will not give you the desired result.
- Saute your diced vegetables with butter and season them with salt, sugar, and vinegar.
Beef, bacon, vegetables( carrots, celery, onions), heavy cream, lemon juice, Roux ( flour and unsalted butter)
Knedlo Zelo Vepro
It is everything you will imagine a comfort food to be savoury, warm, and full of flavorful gravy. Many Czechs consider Vepřo knedlo zelo as the national dish. It consists of roast pork, dumplings, and Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage). Although you can use any part of pork, the Czechs typically use pork neck for the dish. Marinate the pork in spices, onions, and garlic (preferably a day before), roast in the oven, and save the braising liquid to serve. It is simple, finger-licking, and hard to get wrong. You can switch the dumplings with potatoes. Enjoy your meal with a cold bottle of beer.
Must-have ingredients for the roast pork
pork neck, vegetable oil, caraway seeds, butter, ground black pepper
Must-have ingredients for dumpling
dry yeast, flour, eggs, salt, sugar, warm water
Must-have ingredients for Sauerkraut
bacon, onions, caraway seeds, cornstarch, vinegar, salt, sugar, cold water, pepper
Koprovka is the Czech version of dill sauce. It is a delicious sweet-sour sauce usually accompanied by potatoes or dumplings. Making Koprovka is easy if you follow the proper steps. You can use Koprovka as a dipping sauce for almost anything.
Things to note
- Your Roux should not be brown but golden.
- Add the dill at the end.
Must-have ingredients for Koprovka
Beef broth, Fresh dill, Vinegar, Salt, heavy cream
The best places to try the Czech cuisine in Prague
As in any country, there are thousands of restaurants to visit. However, which ones are guaranteed to give you the best of these dishes? Well, we’ve narrowed the long list down for you. So, here are some Prague restaurants that will have you emptying your pockets in seconds.
Krčma serves some of the most delicious Czech cuisines, which is pretty affordable. The restaurant has a warm and cosy ambience, and it is a great place to have a delicious plate of svíčková with friends and family.
Cafe Savoy serves breakfast daily and has lunch and dinner menus that feature delicious Czech dishes and French cuisine.
You can enjoy classic Czech desserts with friends and family on a hot afternoon. Don’t forget to order the dark chocolate marzipan Savoy cake. It is delicious!